Measure Draws Praise From Many Stakeholders
The aviation industry is reacting favorably to the U.S. Senate’s passage of the FAA Reauthorization bill that is now headed to President Donald Trump for his signature.
Here’s a roundup of statements from various stakeholders:
“With a vote of 93 to 6, the Senate joined 398 members of the House of Representatives in showing overwhelming, bipartisan support for the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018. The legislation provides long-term certainty, which is critical toward maintaining a safe and affordable travel experience for consumers in communities across the country and throughout the world,” said Airlines for America president & CEO Nicholas E. Calio (pictured). “The Senate Commerce Committee leadership – along with their staffs – should be commended for achieving a long-term bill that protects the interests of both the traveling and shipping public, as well as the more than 700,000 workers in the commercial aviation industry.”
“On behalf of rural communities, small and mid-sized farms and businesses, and operators across the country, we applaud Congress for passing a multi-year FAA reauthorization bill, which will support ongoing funding of our airport and aviation infrastructure, help to safeguard passengers, address our critical pilot and workforce shortage, and perhaps most importantly, this proposal excludes a risky provision to privatize our nation’s air traffic control system,” said the Alliance for Aviation Across America.
“This harmful proposal would have taken away Congressional oversight of our aviation system and put it under the control of a private board dominated by the biggest airlines and interests in the system, allowing them to control access and shape this critical public infrastructure for their own benefit. Already we see that in foreign countries that have privatized, the largest airports and operators have been prioritized over smaller communities and interests.
“Across our country, there are more than 5000 airports that connect small businesses and communities to far-off plants and customers, and critical services such as medical care, fire fighting, and disaster relief. We look forward to working with Congress and other stakeholders to ensure that we preserve consistent investment in the nation’s aviation infrastructure, support modernization of our air traffic control system, and preserve access to our system for communities of all sizes.”
“We thank the Senate and the bipartisan leadership of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, including Chairman John Thune (R-SD), Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL), Aviation Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA), for their work on this important reauthorization,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce (pictured). “We look forward to the president signing the bill into law quickly, so we can get to work with the FAA and our industry partners on fully and successfully implementing the reforms in the legislation.”
“The Senate passage of the FAA bill provides much-needed, multi-year stability to the entire U.S. aviation system and launches the UAS industry to new heights. The bill calls for rulemaking on a UAS Traffic Management (UTM) system, which will help ensure the safe and efficient use of the national airspace,” said Brian Wynne, president and CEO of AUVSI (pictued).
“The legislation also includes the implementation of remote identification standards. The ability to remotely identify and track UAS is the linchpin needed to advance the UAS industry, and it is critical for the ultimate realization of expanded operations, such as beyond line of sight and package delivery. Additionally, the bill addresses national security concerns by granting DHS and DOJ the authority to mitigate potentially malicious UAS operations. This will help keep our skies safe and secure for all aircraft – manned and unmanned.
“We hope President Trump quickly signs the bill into law as these necessary steps will help encourage innovation and safety while accelerating the commercial use of UAS.”
“The National Air Transportation Association thanks Congress for taking swift action on the bipartisan compromise legislation passed today. We applaud House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (R-SD) and Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL) and their staffs for leading this bill to Congressional passage. NATA believes passage of this legislation will bring the industry and the FAA one step closer to financial stability and modernization of our nation’s air transportation system,” said NATA president Gary Dempsey.
“The legislation includes many provisions, sought by NATA, that benefit general aviation businesses across the country, including – regulatory consistency, aircraft certification reform, FAA delegation expansion, a review of flight standards reform, the formation of the Aviation Workforce Development Pilot Program to address aircraft maintenance issues, and the establishment of a centralized database to review outdated or conflicting material on a current and ongoing basis. NATA also praises the inclusion of language, supported by Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), that directs the FAA to report on its efforts to combat illegal charter, which will help the industry to understand the scope of the issue and what future steps might be needed to protect passengers and legitimate businesses.
“NATA appreciates the dedication of our member companies, who visited Capitol Hill in June, to advocate for the interests of the general aviation community. Congressional transportation leaders heard our collective voice and rejected poison pills, including attempts to promote illegal flight sharing, that will negatively impact the industry for years to come.”
“On behalf of our more than 11,000 members, NBAA thanks congressional leaders for making this important legislation a priority,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen (pictured). “This bill will provide a stable path forward for the FAA without controversial proposals to privatize our nation’s air traffic control (ATC) system. It is imperative that the agency be allowed to focus on modernization of our national airspace system without distractions.
“In the debate over this legislation, the general aviation community made its voice heard as never before, and it made all the difference in the outcome,” Bolen added. “The so-called privatization proposals put forward would have restricted our access to airports and airspace – threatening the future of business aviation.”
“Flight Attendants cheer the passage of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 with a provision to combat Flight Attendant fatigue by increasing minimum rest from 8 hours to 10 hours. This bill closes a safety loophole while improving Flight Attendant health and achieving equal minimum rest with our flight deck counterparts,” said AFA International president Sara Nelson (pictured).
“We applaud Chairman Shuster (R-PA), Ranking Member DeFazio (D-OR), Chairman LoBiondo (R-NJ), Ranking Member Larsen (D-WA), Chairman John Thune (R-SD), Ranking Member Bill Nelson (D-FL), Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO), and Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-WA), for their leadership in writing this legislation so important for a safe and dependable U.S. aviation system.”
President Trump has until Sunday to sign the bill.